FRS History 1980-1989
May 31st- a 5th Sunday- an extra transmission was carried out between 10-12 GMT while E.M.R.'s 4th Birthday Show was put on the air between 08-10 GMT. It was the very first of a series of extra 5th Sunday trms. E.M.R. 5th Sunday relays would continue till the end of 1982. Two brand new aerials were put into operation resulting in almost perfect SWR's. Another strange thing happened during that 5th Sunday transmission in May as Peter reveals ....
“During the first 60 minutes I was on my own on the transmitting location and I couldn't get rid of a terrible RF feedback. After a lot of trouble I succeeded in contacting Bobby Speed whose technical skills were much better developed. He got rid of that terrible sound, it appeared that the RF was caused by the cassette machine touching the wet ground.”
From that moment onwards future transmissions would result in hanging the cassette machine in a shopping bag on a branch some 80 cm above the ground level thus avoiding any RF feedback. June, July and August passed almost quietly although a few things are worth mentioning: in June FRS-Holland's 6250 channel suffered from heavy interference from the Free Radio Broadcasting Company, a UK based high-powered station which hadn't been heard for a long time on SW. A rather low modulation level during the last hour of that June broadcast was caused by one of the car batteries which went flat. Also in July it was FRBC causing interference and thus a move to 6260 was made. Annoying was the fact the cassette machine got jammed in the middle of the the July broadcast. Peter V. thought something different was happening .......
“Yes, the fact two aerials were stolen only a few months earlier was still fresh in my mind and made me rather suspicious. Although we were transmitting from private ground, it was always possible unwanted persons could enter the location. So I was thinking that somebody had pulled the modulation plug out of the transmitter. Believe me, it was a relief to know it was only the cassette machine causing the trouble.”
August 30th saw the second 5th Sunday transmission together with the celebration of FRS-Holland's very first anniversary. A 90 minute documentary, compiled and produced by P.V. & Joop ter Zee, was broadcasted and a good number of copies were ordered by FRS listeners. Sunday September 20th something strange happened as P.V. recalls (listen to two audio cuts > Peter talking about the groundwave and a September 1981 mix; use the little red arrows to switch between the two cuts):
“In those days we didn't realize that propagation conditions were subject to dramatic differences as a result of the 11 year sunspot cycle. Conditions were superb because the sunspot cycle was at its maximum. In fact we'd never heard of any 11 year cycle but a few years later we discovered to what great extend it could affect reception conditions in the mid 80's. So the fact those little 10W rigs were providing such wonderful signals was partly due to the splendid conditions during the early 1980's.”
November 29th 1981 the 48 mb transmitter returned on air and even in Italy FRS provided fair signals witness the various reports being received. The final 1981 transmission took place on December 20th and for the second time a special X-Mas broadcast was put on the air. One little funny incident took place when Peter V. discovered on the location that the cassette recorder was frozen only producing whining sounds. It had been very cold that Saturday night and the cassette machine had been put away all night long in Peter's car not giving enough protection against the cold.
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